Home » Jazz Articles » Simon Moullier: Spirit Song


Album Review

Simon Moullier: Spirit Song


Sign in to view read count
Simon Moullier: Spirit Song
Simon Moullier sounds like a pretty old soul for someone only releasing his debut. At the same time, even more impressively, it is a relentlessly playful one, with an equal love for the old and new. One might think an instrument as established as the vibraphone only has so much potential to be taken to new places. With a mind as sharp as his hands, though, Moullier puts that familiar sound in a world-spanning musical context which makes everything both familiar and fresh.

On Spirit Song, the leader delights in criss-crossing sounds and feels of all kinds, particularly things that might not obviously go together. It feels expansive yet intimate, allowing jazzy chords and structures to settle over complex African-based rhythmic patterns and circular forms rooted in Asia. The vibes' cool metal tone is complemented in spots by the resonant wood of its Guinean counterpart, the balafon. The almost entirely analogue sound gets the lightest dash of synth in spots to add just a touch of futuristic spaceyness. While Moullier can get quite energetic bashing the plates, his fleet lines are always silky-smooth and the sound continually hovers close to dreamy, if not otherworldly.

Though there are familiar elements all over it, this outing never wants to simply stay rooted in one obvious spot. When they spin a sunny samba take on "I'll Remember April," it still leans quirkily and drifts into something spacy before it is over. The mantric patterns of "Acceptance" or "What If" are joined by jaunty piano and rich-toned sax which playfully romp without falling out of their intricate steps. Moullier's pieces paint in a pretty range of impressionistic colors, and his crew is equally happy to fill it all in without needing obvious lines to shade between. From intricate subtle trance to dreamy atmospheres and swinging bebop, the spirit of Spirit Song is an all-inclusive one, happy to roam absolutely anywhere and make something beautiful out of whatever it finds.

Track Listing

Spirit Song; Acceptance; Wind Chaser; I'll Remember April; Beings of Light; Prophecy; What if; Kenyalang; Bala.


Simon Moullier: vibraphone; Luca Alemanno: bass; Jongkuk Kim : drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Dayna Stephens: saxophone (2, 7); Morgan Guerin: saxophone (1, 3, 5); Simon Chivallon: piano (2, 4, 7, 8); Isaac Wilson: piano (1, 3, 5).

Album information

Title: Spirit Song | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Outside in Music

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



John La Barbera Big Band
Cry Me A River
Hilario Duran
Oblong Aplomb
Matt Mitchell
The Defector
Henry Spencer


Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio
Afro Futuristic Dreams
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Pharoah (Box Set)
Pharoah Sanders
Dynamic Maximum Tension
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

On the record

Vibes on a Breath
Ted Piltzecker
Jonathan Karrant
Brazilian Match
Luiz Millan
Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.